The world's second-largest economy also grew by 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, slipping by 0.1 percent from the third quarter's 6.9 percent growth. This was in line with the median forecast in a Reuters poll.
Full-year growth same in at 6.9 percent, down from 2014's 7.3 percent, and the slowest pace of economic expansion since 1990.
"The fear of a rapid slowdown in China is a big cause of concern to the world, given a dependence on it as one of the last big engines of global expansion," said head of global equities at Henderson Global Investors, Matthew Beesley.
"Investors have temporarily lost their compass. Right now, they are still questions on whether rates should be rising in the U.S. and whether deflationary pressures still abounding, clearly we are seeing that in energy prices and I think investors are feeling dislocated to the "norm" they got used to post-2008," he told CNBC.
In Europe, stocks traded around 2 percent higher following the Chinese data.
Chinese stocks surged following the data, with the Shanghai Composite ending over 3 percent higher.